I want to start by condemning the attacks in Libya, that resulted in US deaths. There has also been violence in Cairo.
What set off these attacks is a movie called "Innocence of Muslims." The filmmaker is Israeli-American and says he made the film because "Islam is a cancer" (quoted from article). The film was recently subtitled in Arabic, and started being mentioned on Egyptian television.
I don't condone the violence and deaths, but I can understand why people are so upset. This is another one of those situations that I've blogged about before: Yes, in America we have Freedom of Speech. But just because you CAN say something does not mean that you SHOULD say something.
If a Muslim made a movie about Jesus, and depicted him as a womanizer and pedophile, there would be boycotts and mass demonstrations, and probably even some violence in America. [I'm saying this to make a point, because most Americans don't realize Jesus is a Muslim prophet.] The relationship between America and the Middle East is so tenuous at times, and historically rather rocky, so it's very easy to offend people. My current concern is backlash over the backlash, as some Americans may become more Islamophobic and think that all Muslims are ultra-religious and violent. Let's hope the situation cools off quickly.